Canon sued for disabling scanner and fax functions of all-in-one device when printer ink runs out

Originally published at: Canon sued for disabling scanner and fax functions of all-in-one device when printer ink runs out | Boing Boing


All-in-one? I think they mean all-or-none.


HP does similar bullshit. Is there a printer company out there that actually makes a functional product that isn’t specifically designed to be as malicious as possible? Seems like there’s a market for printers that are designed to just, you know, print.


Can confirm, if the printer is out’a ink, it won’t print. And yeah, Canon sucks…


My HP all-in-one, which I’ve had for years, recently informed me that if I wanted to use the scan feature, I now had to log in to my HP account, which I didn’t have. It never used to do that. I scanned and faxed for years with this thing without having an HP account. Now, I have to have one and be logged in. It’s free, but of course they’re collecting data, and I am not happy about it. And now Canon is apparently employing the same business model. Does anyone have any experience with Brother? Do they do this too?


I have an Epson that came with big “wells” of ink, AND replacement ink. It’s clearly designed to appeal to users who know about this problem and want to avoid it., that is, want to spend less on ink.

I’ve had it for a long time now, and even the first well of black ink isn’t used up yet (I print pretty much nothing in color). I’m wondering if the included replacement ink is going to dry up before I need it. Its copying and wireless scanning functions work well too.


Brother laser printers are great. You can still buy knock-off toner cartridges (no ink-jets!) and they almost never frustrate me. I don’t know if there are color options, but for b&w printing they’re great. The cartridges last for a long time, and both the printer and knock-off cartridges are reasonably priced.


I’ve been very happy with a basic Brother laser printer. My last one hung on for almost ten years with regular day-to-day use.


I just… can’t even…


I just got one too, and most of the big printer companies all have fairly affordable ones on the market now.

I’m curious if they are finally throwing in the towel on the aggravating cartridge model, or if they have decided there are always people who will buy the super cheap models and then buy cartridges for high prices.

One issue is that the printer need to be used from time to time to keep the heads clear, but since the cost of ink is so low that’s not a big deal. Maybe there are other issues but I didn’t see them when I was researching before buying.


I swore off inkjet printers a couple of years ago & went with the cheapest multi-function laser I could find. I don’t need a color printer, so b&w/grayscale work for me. YMMV.
I didn’t generally use the inkjets enough to avoid clogging the head; plus there is the disabling issue.
Yeah, my last inkjet was a Canon. FPOS wouldn’t even scan if it was out of a single color, and you couldn’t refill the cartridges yourself. Never again.


If your color cartridge is empty, Canon printers refuse to print in black. However, if you hold down the Stop button (or the Cancel button depending on your model) for about ten seconds you can override this “feature”.

It worked for me anyway.


@beschizza I seem to recall there is a place to report inappropriate adverts but don’t know where it is. See the post above, that I am replying to. I expect this won’t qualify, eh?

Yes. Disappointed, but not surprised. I guess it’s one of those things you have no control over and is just bad luck, but still. Perhaps we can just pass it off as a working definition of irony.

(And I’d submit this one to Private Eye for its ‘Malgorithms’ feature except that they seem to mostly feature print media. I may yet.)


Back in the day after our inkjet told us we couldn’t print a black-and-white letter just because the yellow was out I went and got a used Laserwriter 300 and never looked back, now on our second Brother MFC. Thought it would be great to be able to print color photos but then we never did.


Yeah and those fakirs at HP have you monitored for every page you print - but forget about having your cartridge filled with after-market ink - they already know that cartridge has printed X copies and your not gonna wring any more out of it. The scammiest of scams.


Add me to the list of users blindsided when my printer refused to print black text, even though we had plenty of black ink, because a color cart was empty. It was the last straw after a string of increasingly maddening inkjet printers. The Lexmark that printed a certain number of pages from a cartridge, then marked that cart “empty” though ink remained, deserves a special place in computer Hell. In desperation I switched to a color all-in-one which has done all right so far. It accepts generic toner carts without biting. It’s a Canon, though, so I wonder if end-of-life demons are lurking inside it as well. Color print quality is less than inkjet quality but I don’t print that much color so I can accept that.


I’ve had HP and Epson, and settled on Cannon because their cartridges were less outrageously priced than the others. I’ve got two color lasers at my office which both happily work with cheap 3rd party cartridges, and the print quality is better than my past HP and Epson printers as well.

That aside this kind of bullshit has to be stopped in all industries.


When Belkin bought Wemo alll of sudden I had to create an online account to have a wifi switch, you know, turn something on and off. :roll_eyes:

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The ink cartridges which come with the new printer have far less ink than the refills.
The printer decides that the cartridges are empty when they still have enough ink inside for hundreds more pages.
Some color printers use the yellow ink to put a pattern of invisible dots on every page which is a unique identifier. Serial number, time, date, IP address, your PC’s unique identifers. “Law enforcement” have software to scan and read these dots to find out who you are.
The printer mfgr’s explanation? “To ensure a better user experience” or somesuch. :confused:


The best days in the life of an inkjet printer owner are the day they buy it, and the day they dump it for a laser printer.

BTW the Champagne comparison seemed strange but I guess I’m not drinking the properly expensive stuff.

Champagne wishes and printer ink dreams?